Australia, UK space agencies deepen partnership

Australia and the United Kingdom have deepened their connection in space with the announcement of a “Space Bridge”.

The nature of the collaboration is a world first for the space industry, but was inspired by the “FinTech Bridge” which has linked businesses in the two countries such its singing in April 2018.

The UK and Australia have already entered into a formal collaboration since their Memorandum of Understanding which was signed in October 2018, however the new partnership will extend the capabilities of space businesses in each country, said head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark.

“The Space Bridge will open up new opportunities for Australian space businesses to access the global space sector through future trade agreements. This is an important step in the Agency’s goal to transform and grow the Australian space industry.”

Chief executive of the UK Space Agency, Dr Graham Turnock, concurred, highlighting the history of connections between the UK and Australia in the field of space.

“The UK’s space heritage has strong links to Australia, with the first British rockets lifting off from Woomera in the 1950s, and we are committed to strengthening our friendship and partnership, said Turnock.

“A Space Bridge agreement will bring significant benefits to both of our thriving space industries, facilitating new trade and investment opportunities and the exchange of knowledge and ideas.”

The agreement was signed at the UK Space Conference in Wales, on September 24, and draws in agencies including Austrade and the UK Department for International Trade. CEO of Austrade, Dr Stephanie Fahey, highlighted the benefits that will flow to space enterprises in Australia.

“Australia’s space sector is on the rise, powered by a rapidly growing and innovative base of start-ups and SMEs that are shaped by broader international trends,” said Fahey.

“A vibrant, export-focused space sector will enable us to reap the benefits that is able to underpin the competitiveness of our entire future economy.”